Inside: This sensory activity involving ice and salt doubles as a great science experiment. Squeezing the pipette also adds great fine motor practice!
Update on this post: Since writing this post, many of my readers have pointed out the dangers of ice and salt burning the skin. I am so appreciative to those that took the time to share this information with me. Therefore, I do not recommend this using free cups of salt, as pictured below. I would have them continue to squirt the warm water on the ice and then remove a piece and show them what happens when I shake salt on it. As with all activities that are done with small children, adult supervision is extremely important.
One of our favorite winter activities is exploring ice in the sensory table. It’s fun to freeze water from different containers so that you get different shapes and sizes, but having them all the same size is fine, too, as we did in this activity. We added some fine motor to this ice activity by supplying pipettes. We then tinted the warm water blue so they could see it move up and down in the pipette, then squirting onto the ice. There is a lot of movement in this activity, so our energetic children are especially drawn to it.
Exploring Ice in the Sensory Table
What you will need:
- Water (we tinted ours blue to make it stand out as they added it to the ice)
- A sensory table or a bin that can be placed on a table or floor
Setting it up:
Freeze water in your choice of containers. Then, pop the ice out of the containers into the bin. Add containers of warm water (we tinted ours blue with some liquid watercolors), along with pipettes.
Watch as they touch the ice and realize it’s starting to melt.
Use the pipettes to squirt water on top of the ice.
Preschoolers love using pipettes. Teachers love how it helps fine motor development.
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Here are more ideas to try: